Artist: Marc Romboy & Ken Ishii
Label: Systematic Recordings
Release Date: 8 February, 2013
1. Marc Romboy & Ken Ishii – Gosa
2. Marc Romboy & Ken Ishii – Seiun
3. Marc Romboy & Ken Ishii – Helium
4. Marc Romboy & Ken Ishii – Dopplereffekt
5. Marc Romboy & Ken Ishii – Suisei
6. Marc Romboy & Ken Ishii – Taiyo
7. Marc Romboy & Ken Ishii – Der Strand
You don’t need to be in the same studio or club, or even the same continent to experience a musical connection; regardless of distance, you recognise the click instantaneously.
Some 7000 kilometres divide techno master craftsmen Marc Romboy and Ken Ishii, but that didn’t prevent them uniting to produce Taiyo (Japanese for ‘sun’, the origin of everything), an album that is as much about the duo’s shared musical vision, as the inevitable flicker of creative conflict that marks collaborations of this nature. Indeed, to Romboy and Ishii, the challenge of balancing these subtle differences lies at the core of album and where the most interesting and unexpected sonic ideas are spawned.
Over seven tracks the pair combines to craft an album of intricate next-level techno, simultaneously creative in its sound design and with enough drive to excite a dancefloor, proving distance is no barrier when two such superbly talented musical alchemists undertake a collaboration.
As electronic music talent goes, both artists enjoy stunning pedigrees and a sixth sense for production. Romboy has been active in the industry for almost twenty years, as an acclaimed producer, DJ and label owner, first heading up prolific underground imprint Le Petit Prince throughout the ‘90s, before birthing Systematic Recordings, the label he owns and A&Rs today. Internationally revered, Romboy issues releases from lofty names such as Robert Babicz, Steve Lawler, Ripperton, Stephan Bodzin and more on the label. Additionally, he’s also released cuts on Ovum, Tronic, Simple, Herzblut Recordings, among others. Ken Ishii is inarguably one of Japan’s most respected and innovative techno artists, while being a producer whose influence and reach extends far beyond the dancefloor. Such is his standing, that In 1998, he was chosen to produce the official theme song for the Winter Olympics in Nagano, while two years later in 2000, he was nominating for a Japanese Academy Award for his work on the soundtrack of hit Japanese movie Whiteout.
Throughout his career, the artist has created music for video games, designed an exclusive 12.2 sound system that featured at the World Expo in Aichi, Japan in 2005, all the while enjoying a career in dance music stretching back 20 years to his seminal releases on R & S in the early 90s. Together the pair has created a work that represents the ying and yang of techno; west meets east; atmosphere meets groove-ridden dancefloor precision; contrasting, yet harmonious, and a pure trip for the mind and eardrums.
Track by track breakdown of Taiyo by Ken Ishii
01. Gosa: “This is a Japanese word that means an error or an (acceptable)
error range. When two men collaborate on something there must be an error between them to some extent, but this error makes what comes out of it interesting and different. Our collaboration is all about this. We combined the expected and the unexpected coming out of each of us and made a subtle balance in them. Then we got this album, which I can describe as a real and creative techno album.”
02. Seiun: “This is also a Japanese word, means a galaxy or a nebula. I was thinking about UR’s X-101 and 102 [Underground Resistance] when I was working the parts and loops for this track. Time, space and techno.”
03. Helium: “Probably the most atmospheric track on this album. We added some oriental touches to the atmosphere.”
04. Dopplereffekt: “Marc’s arpeggios work nicely to give this track a driving feel!”
05. Suisei: “This is another Japanese word which means a comet. Spacey and dramatic track that sounds like a comet coming and disappearing.”
06. Taiyo: “This means the sun in Japanese. It was actually the track Marc and I started our collaboration off with. We instantly clicked with each other and decided to do a whole album consequently. I love this track’s contrast between the beats and the pads, like ying and yang.”
07. Der Strand: “This track and Helium are sister songs, a kind of reprise of Helium. The lovely beach ambience comes from Marc’s good memory.”